Today’s dental assistants do their utmost to ensure that operations in the dental office run smoothly. Making sure that equipment functions at its best is an important part of that role. By properly maintaining dental equipment, you’ll avoid any unexpected breakdowns and keep equipment working optimally for as long as possible.
The tasks involved in dental equipment maintenance aren’t time consuming when performed regularly, and they’ll become an easy part of your day-to-day routine once you start your career. While not all dental offices use exactly the same equipment, you may find some of these practical tips useful once you break into the industry.
How Pros in Dental Assistant Careers Maintain X-Ray Machines
Taking and processing radiography (x-ray) images is one of the tasks that you’ll perform on a regular basis during your dental assistant career. Thata��s why you’ll become familiar with using digital and conventional radiography machines during your dental assistant training, as well as the procedures for processing images.
General maintenance tasks for radiography machines include powering up the machine at the beginning of your work day and making sure that it’s properly cleaned and disinfected. Radiography machines need to be cleaned with a dampened cloth using a detergent solution. Never use a cloth soaked in water, as any moisture could get into the control panels and permanently damage the machine. It’s also important to pay attention to any abnormal noises coming from the machine, and to notice if the panel lights are burnt out or behaving unusually. If this occurs, make sure you contact the manufacturer to have it examined by a technician.
Dental Chair Maintenance for Students in Dental Assistant Training
The dental chair is an important part of the examination room, so regular maintenance tasks are crucial to help keep it looking its best. Any number of patients sit in the dental chair on a given day, so it’s important to wipe it down regularly. Use a damp cloth with a mild soap or detergent to clean the surface of the chair and any operating stools, as harsh cleaners might crack the upholstery over time. The base assembly should be given a quick wipe-down as well to prevent any dust or debris from getting into the gears.
Every so often, the dental chair’s control system should be checked for functionality. You can do this by sitting in the chair and using the controls to adjust its position through its full range of motion. If you notice that it gets stuck at any point, or hear grinding noises from the inner machinery, contact the manufacturer to arrange for a repair.
How Dental Assistants Perform Dental Unit Maintenance
The dental unit is the hub that supports all vacuums, hoses and hand pieces, and also serves as a platform for the instruments that dentists use. Different dental offices will have different types of dental unit setups, depending on the services they offer.
Throughout their dental assistant careers, professionals make sure to perform regular dental unit maintenance, which is an important part of preventing the spread of germs and bacteria. Regular maintenance can include disinfecting all dental instruments, wiping down all hoses, checking them for cracks and making sure they’re airtight. Throughout your future career, you may also need to check air and water pressures and replace faulty o-rings and filters whenever necessary.
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